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Spinal Cord Injury Symptoms

Spinal cord injuries often leave individuals with temporary or permanent disabilities. However, not all spinal cord injuries are exactly alike. The reality is that the signs and symptoms experienced by victims will differ based on the severity of the initial injury as well as the effectiveness of the medical care they receive. Here, we want to discuss the most common spinal cord injury symptoms victims and their families can expect based only severity of their injury.

Understanding Spine Injury Symptoms

When we examine the information available from the National Spinal Cord Injury Statistical Center (NSCISC), we can see that there are varying levels of spinal cord injuries. In general, these can be summarized as quadriplegia and paraplegia, though there are other levels of injuries and paralysis that a person can sustain. We can understand quadriplegia to mean that a person’s body is affected from the neck down, whereas paraplegia likely will only affect a person from their waist down. 

Of course, no two spinal cord injuries are alike, and the severity of symptoms for one person with quadriplegia or tetraplegia may differ from another person with the same level of injury.

Data provided by the Mayo Clinic shows that spinal cord injuries can affect every aspect of a person’s life. This includes their physical abilities as well as their emotional and psychological well-being. 

Those who experience quadriplegia, often are said to have a “complete” injury, particularly if they lose all feeling and ability to control their movement. A person will be said to have an “incomplete” injury if they have some motor or sensory function below the affected spinal cord injury.

Emergency Versus Long-Term Symptoms

When it comes to spinal cord injuries, there is certainly going to be a difference between the initial emergency symptoms of the injury from the long-term symptoms that person may experience if they survive the incident. Some of the emergency signs and symptoms of spinal cord injuries that necessitate immediate medical care include the following:

  • Extreme pain in the head, neck, or back
  • Numbness or tingling in the hands, fingers, feet, or toes
  • Overall body weakness, feeling uncoordinated, or paralysis in any part of the body 
  • Newfound loss of bowel or bladder control
  • Difficulty walking or balancing
  • Impaired breathing
  • Any strange-looking neck or back positioning

Spinal cord injury victims are most likely to incur the following long-term symptoms in the areas below where the injury occurred:

  • Loss of movement
  • Loss of bladder or bowel control
  • Extreme reflex activities or spasms
  • Loss of sensation, including the ability to feel cold, heat, and touch
  • Pain or intense stinging in the area around the actual injury caused by damaged nerve fibers
  • Difficulty breathing, coughing, or clearing secretions from the lungs
  • Changes in sexual function, fertility, or sexual sensitivity

Work to Secure Compensation After an Injury

If you or somebody you care about has sustained a spinal cord injury caused by the negligence of another individual or business, you need to work with a spinal cord injury attorney in Orange County who can help you secure compensation. These injuries can result in significant medical bills as well as many other costs for victims and their families. We are talking about price tags rising into millions of dollars over the course of a victim’s life. It is crucial for spinal cord injury victims and their families to be able to recover compensation from those that caused the injury.